Portugal is a mix of rugged and scenic landscape coupled with rolling stretches of the Mediterranean landscape. This country is a great choice to visit, particularly if you like all things maritime related, as Portugal stretches for 800 kilometers along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The best Portugal vacation spots include Lisbon, the capital city which sits at the entrance of the majestic River Tagus and The Algarve – a soft climate tempered by the Atlantic with soft sandy beaches and mouth-watering cuisines. Read on to discover top 10 things to do in Portugal, more particularly in those 2 regions.
Lisbon is a city touted as a modern metropolis to rival London. It is a city that is going places. If you’re worried about what to see in Lisbon, you shouldn’t be. Lisbon has a plethora of history with tales of everything from Roman imperialists to exotic Berber pirates. Here are a few of our favourite things to do in Lisbon.
It is the one landmark you should visit when taking tours in Portugal. Soaring high above the seafront of the Lisbon quays, this great tower displays a veritable fusion of architectural styles.
It has stood watch over the mouth of the Tagus River since its construction under the patronage of Saint John back in the 16th century.
Hailed as the oldest part of the city, the compact little Alfama district should be on your list when you visit Lisbon. Delve into the winding streets and alleys that form the district to find delightful plazas, trendy cafés and local crafts.
If you’re a lover of ceramics, tiles or just art in general, the azulejos should definitely be one of the things you do while in Lisbon. The institution traces the important history of tile making and its associated technologies from the days when the Moors first brought it to Iberia.
It is the most visible landmark of Lisbon’s historic center, St. George’s Castle stands tall above the streets of the old Alfama district. Dating back to the 1920’s, this castle offers incredible views of the Baixa district and the Rio Tejo.
One of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the great Monastery of Jerónimos was built to mark Portugal’s most glorious age, “the age of exploration.” This is one of the most architecturally beautiful churches in the country and now plays a large part in Portuguese culture.
Easily one our favourite vacation destination, the Algarve offers everything from great golf, amazing surfing, delicious food and world-renowned beaches. Here are a few things not to miss when visiting the Algarve.
If you’re on holidays in the Algarve, the 18th-century Baroque church in Loulé should be one of the places you visit. The walls and ceilings of the church are completely clad with fabulous blue azulejos (traditional tin-glazed ceramic tiles) dating to the 1730s.
Experience the beauty of the Algarve from the Atlantic on a private tour where you’ll be sure to spot beautiful dolphins and other cetaceans playing in the ocean.
The historic center of Lagos is a joy to roam through. It is encircled by large chunks of its old walls, which were updated in the 1500s on top of much older Moorish defenses. Stroll around the narrow cobblestone streets and be transported back to the Age of Discovery when explorers set sail from the port or kayak under the natural arches and enter the caves for the perfect photo backdrop.
Commissioned by Francisco Gomes de Avelar the Bishop of Faro and drawn up by the Italian architect Francisco Xavier Fabri, this is one of the best places to visit in the Algarve. There’s a belfry (crowned with a stork’s nest), clock, balustrade and in an alcove above the portal is a statue of Thomas Aquinas hewn from marble.
Algarve has an extensive inland region. This is the most picturesque around the Serra de Monchique, a mountain range acting as a buffer between the Algarve and Alentejo to the north. The hillside above the town has remnants of a 17th-century convent, while the center of Monchique is also a joy for its cobblestone streets and whitewashed houses with colorful window and door frames.